May - June 2015 - Kalispell, Montana
In 2015, I traveled to visit a friend in Montana on Amtrak.
Travel to Kalispell
Travel from Kalispell
Travel to Kalispell, Montana
From Union Station in Chicago, to Milwaukee, across Wisconsin, across Minnesota thru Minneapolis, thru Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot across North Dakota, then across Montana to Whitefish which is just north of Kalispell, my destination. Until we got to the mountains, the view was pretty boring. The trip was scheduled to take about 30 hours. It actually took 39 hours.
was my "home" for those hours. Very nice reclining seat with foot
rest and tray table. No one sitting next to me. Upper level
so the view was excellent. Electrical receptacle for each pair of
seats. My tablet was packed with books to read and my camera had
The view across Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota were less than exciting, even less than beautiful. But I cerainly did get an impression of just how big those states are.
you think about where railroads are located, you can understand that
travelling by rail you don't get the best views of cities and towns you
But then we came up to the mountains and the view improved dramatically.
Travelling by rail is lots more comfortable in most ways from air travel. You can walk around from car to car easily. The restrooms are plentiful. You get a great view of the countryside you're going thru (not just over).
If I ever do a trip like this again, I would want to travel with a friend instead of alone. Someone to share the interesting views with. Someone to help fill in the uninteresting bits.
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friends' house, just outside Kalispell. It looks small but it has
3 bedrooms and 2 baths and a large living room. I had a view of
mountains from my bedroom window.
One of the must-see spots in town is the Conrad Mansion.
The Charles E. Conrad Mansion is a historical Victorian era shingle-style Norman mansion located in Kalispell, Montana. It was designed by the noted Spokane, Washington, architect Kirtland Cutter. It was the home of Charles E. Conrad, a late 19th century shipping magnate and early pioneer of Kalispell. (Wikipedia)
We took the tour of the inside of the mansion, but were not allowed to take photos.
These following photos are from Google Maps.
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Hiking West Glacier National Park
I have no idea which part of the park we hiked in. The trail started from a parking lot and climbed along a fairly easy, well maintained path. It was said to be a 2 mile hike. That turned out to be 2 miles each way, not round trip.
Shannon and Linda
A shallow stream flowed downhill along our path.
The last 2 photos show the lake where our trail led.
This is the only wildlife we saw. The deer was near our car in the parking lot!
We did carry bear spray just in case. It's what you do when hiking in Montana.
Another day we hiked in the woods closer to home.
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Travel from Kalispell (Whitefish)
The return train trip was pretty much the same as the outbound trip - comfortable but long.
Saying goodbye to the mountains.
Then the buttes of Montana (rhymes with cute).
Then back home thru Chicago Union Station.
Recently, my friend in Montana has moved to North Carolina. So I probably won't be seeing Montana again. I'm really glad I got the chance.
But now that means I have an excuse to visit NC. Probably later this year (2021). Check for it to appear in either the Places page or the Travel page.
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